Herbert Böhme

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This article is about the German poet and Nazi activist. For the German actor of the same name, see Herbert A.E. Böhme.

Herbert Böhme (17 October 1907; Frankfurt (Oder) – 23 October 1971; Lochham, Gräfelfing) was a German poet who wrote poems and battle hymns for the Nazi Party. After the Second World War he became involved with neo-fascism.

Nazi poetry[edit]

In 1930 Böhme was included in the newly formed Junge Mannschaft, a group of semi-official Nazi Party poets that also included Heinrich Anacker, Gerhard Schumann and Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach.[1] On Adolf Hitler he wrote "you walk among the people as their saviour".[2] His most well-known work in Nazi Germany was Cantata for November 9, a eulogy to the Nazi 'martyrs' of the Feldherrnhalle which praised Hitler in Messianic terms.[3] Other poems including Wir hissen die Fahne and Langemarck also became Nazi standards.[4] Along with his contemporaries Böhme and his works are largely dismissed as propaganda with little real artistic merit.[5]

Post-war activism[edit]

After the war he became an associate of Gerhard Krüger, and along with him led a short-lived political party that was quickly absorbed by the Deutsche Reichspartei in 1949. The two would later move to the more extremist Socialist Reich Party.[6] Böhme was also close to Arthur Ehrhardt and in 1951 the pair established the pan-European nationalist journal Nation Europa, which was to become important to the neo-fascist network across Europe.[7]

Böhme established the Deutsches Kulturwerk Europäischen Geistes in 1950, an extreme right organisation that had the stated mission of promoting German culture. Thus group was active until 1996.[8] He also set up his own youth group, the Deutsches Kulturwerk Europäischen Geistes in 1952, an organisation that later merged with the extremist Wiking-Jugend.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ James MacPherson Ritchie, German Literature under National Socialism, Taylor & Francis, 1983, p. 88
  2. ^ Stephen A. McKnight, Glenn Hughes, Geoffrey L. Price, Politics, Order, and History: Essays on the Work of Eric Voegelin, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001, p. 101
  3. ^ Eric Michaud, Janet Lloyd, The Cult of Art in Nazi Germany, Stanford University Press, 2004, pp. 66-7
  4. ^ Karl-Heinz Schoeps, Literature and Film in the Third Reich, Camden House, 2004, pp. 171-2
  5. ^ Jethro Bithell, Modern German Literature, 1880-1950, Taylor & Francis, p. 426
  6. ^ Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 215
  7. ^ Shofar FTP Archive File
  8. ^ Richard Stöss, Die extreme Rechte in der Bundesrepublik : Entwicklung – Ursachen – Gegenmassnahmen, Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen, 1989
  9. ^ Helmut Blazek, Männerbünde, Aufbau Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 204